About Asoka Bandarage

Asoka Bandarage

  • Scholar and practitioner Asoka Bandarage has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Mount Holyoke (where she received tenure), Georgetown, American and other universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. Her research interests include social philosophy and consciousness; environmental sustainability, human well-being and health, global political-economy, ethnicity, gender, population, social movements and South Asia.
  • Extensive research and publishing experience in the areas of social philosophy and consciousness, environmental sustainability, human well-being, international development, political economy, women and gender studies, multiculturalism, conflict analysis and resolution, peace and security, South Asia, Sri Lanka, population and ecology.
  • Extensive teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the above areas as well as presentation of workshops, lectures and seminars in academic and broader educational settings.
  • Consultant and practitioner in the above areas with experience in field research, policy analysis and report writing.


  • Huffington Post Blog
  • Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy.
  • The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka: Terrorism, Ethnicity, Political Economy.
  • Women, Population and Global Crisis: A Political-Economic Analysis.
  • Colonialism in Sri Lanka: The Political Economy of the Kandyan Highlands, 1833-1886


  • Ph.D., Sociology 1980 Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • M.A., Religion 1975 Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • B.A. Sociology (Honors) 1973 Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Certificat Pratique de Langue Francaise 1972 L’Université de Poitiers, France
  • General Arts Qualification 1970 University of Sri Lanka, Peradeniya


  • Spring 2017 Visiting Lecturer, Asian and Environmental Studies, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO Course: Buddhism, Society and Ecology (forthcoming)
  • 2015- 2016 Distinguished Adjunct Professor, California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco,
  • Online Course:’Ecological Consciousness and Climate Justice​’​
  • 2010- 2013 Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Sociology Department, American University, Washington D.C.
    Courses: ‘Views from the Third World’
  • 2010- Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Sociology Department, American University, Washington D.C.
    Courses: ‘Views from the Third World’
  • 2008- 2012 Affiliated Associate Professor, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University
    Courses: Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Women in International Security; Civil Society, Media and Conflict Resolution; Gender and Social Movements
  • 2009 Lecturer, European University Center for Peace Studies, Stadtchlaining, Austria
    Course: Conflicts in Asia and Oceania
  • 2006-2007 Visiting Associate Professor, Government Department, Georgetown University
    Courses: Comparative Ethnic and Religious Conflict; Democracy in South Asia; Global Social Movements
  • 2005(spring) Affiliated Associate Professor, Asian Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
    Course: Globalization and Fundamentalism: South Asian Case Studies
  • 1989-2006 Associate Professor (tenured), Women’s Studies and Asian Studies, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
    Courses: Gender and International Development; Population and Global Crisis; Asian-American Women; Buddhism, Feminism and Ecology
  • 1995-1997 Chair, Women’s Studies Program, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
  • 1988/1989 Visiting Professor, Philosophy and Sociology, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
  • 1988 (Fall) Hubert H. Humphrey Professor (endowed professorship), Sociology and International Relations, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
  • 1979-1985 Assistant Professor, Sociology Department, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
    Courses: Comparative Ethnic Relations; Social Change and Stratification; South Asia
  • 1975-1978 Teaching Fellow, Sociology, Women’s Studies and Political Science, Yale University, CT
    Courses: International Political Sociology; Social Stratification; Third World Women


  • Visiting Scholar, Asian Studies Program, Edmund A.Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. (2004-2005)
  • Visiting Scholar, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington D.C. (2003-2004)
  • Visiting Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C. (2002 – 2004) (Recipient Ford Fellowship for Study on Sri Lanka Peace Process)
  • Visiting Scholar, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1983-1984).
  • Faculty Associate, Center for European Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (Summer 1981).


Radio Interviews

Progressive Radio Network, Burt Cohen Show, Oct. 22, 2013;
Connect the Dots, Oct. 2, 2013;
The Radio Ecoshock Show, “Civilization: Change It or Leave It”, June 2013;

Radio Australia and ABC Radio, Australia; AM900 Toronto; Jamaica Radio; National Public Radio: Voice of America American University Radio; Lak Handa Radio, Community Radio 107.3 FM Sydney, Australia, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America, Pacifica Radio, Radio Free Asia, KGNU Radio, Boulder, CO, KPAY, Chico CA; WNTN-AM, Boston, MA; WDRC-AM 1360, Hartford, CT; WHCU-AM 870 Ithaca NY; RADIO AMERICA (syndicated to approximately 70 affiliates); WCCO-AM 830, Minneapolis, MN; WRPT-AM 650, Boston, MA; KTRS-AM 550, St. Louis, MO; KPFA-FM (Pacifica Network), Berkeley, CA; KCJJ-AM 1560, Iowa City, IA; WDEL-AM, Willmington, DE; KTT-FM, Houston, TX; WHO-AM 1040 Des Mois, IA; KPFK-FM (syndicated to approximately 135 affiliates), Los Angeles, CA; KSCO-AM, Monterey, CA; WORT, Madison, WI.

Print/Television Interviews

Al Jazeera (English); Bloomberg News; BBC International; China Newsweek,Agence France Presse;, ABC News, VA; Georgetown University Newspaper; “Crisis in Sri Lanka” CNN International Television, Voice of America Television; Scholar-Activist Visit to Campus, St.Benedict College News, St. Joseph, Minnesota; Book Launch Women, Population and Global Crisis, Ceylon Daily News; “Noted Sri Lankan Activist to Speak in Twin Cities,” Asian American Press, “Bandarage Documentary Exposes Mining Threat to Sri Lankan Village,” College Street Journal, Mount Holyoke College; Ceylon Daily News; Newspaper Interview, Lakbima, Sri Lanka; Television Interview, Rupavahini, Sri Lanka; Interview Week-End Express, Newspaper Interview, Curtin University, Perth, Australia; Interview Vista, Mount Holyoke College, Classroom Interview Television Channel 22, Springfield, MA; Television Interview cable Channel 34 New York, New York, Interview Daily Hampshire Gazette, “What are the Limits?”, A Debate on Population and Environment, KCTV, Channel 10, Amherst, MA, Interview on World Population Problems, Utne Reader, Interview in “Sisters of Spirit” by Alan Morvay, Reflections: Quarterly Resource Directory.


See full list


Workshop offerings


  • Steering Committee, Interfaith Moral Action on the Climate
  • Advisor, Project on “Disconnected Youth” with Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Yale Club of Washington D.C. (2010-2012)
  • National Advisory Council – South Asian Affairs – Academic Committee (2000-present)
  • Board of Directors, Careth Foundation, Amherst, MA (2001-2005)
  • Participating Scholar, Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics (1999-2007).
  • International Consultant, Women’s Movement, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Sri Lanka, (1997-2005).
  • Gender and Development Consultant, Care International, Sri Lanka, 1998.
  • International Consultant for Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life – Sri Lanka-South India, April 1993.
  • International Outreach Coordinator, “Mothers and Others Connecting All” Campaign Against Nuclear Testing, Nevada Test Site (1988).
  • Field Consultant and Evaluator of Income Generation Projects for Women in India, Oxfam-America (Jan.- April 1984).


  • Reviewer, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Georgetown University Press, United Nations University Press, Oxford University Press, University of Hawaii Press, Sage Publications, Women’s Studies International Forum, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, United States Institute of Peace.
  • Critical Asian Studies, Editorial Advisory Board (2000-present)
  • Five College Faculty Study Group on Epistemology and Contemplation in the Academy (2000-2002)
  • Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars – Editorial Advisory Board (1982-2000)
  • Five College Peace and World Security Studies Program (1990-1995)
  • Five College Asian-American Studies Program (1992-1995)
  • Hypatia – Editorial Board (1983-1999)
  • Committee on Women, Population and the Environment – Steering Committee (1992-2000)
  • South Asia Council (1991-1994), Association of Asian Studies
  • Woman of Power – Board of Directors (1988-1994)
  • Eastern Sociological Association – Minorities Council (1981-1985)
  • National Women’s Health Network (1982-1986)
  • South Asia Bulletin – Editorial Advisory Board (1983-1987)
  • Feminist Studies – Consultant (1984-1992)
  • Third World Coalition, American Friends Service Committee, (1980-1985)
  • Grassroots International – Advisory Board (1986-1988)


Principal Organizer

  • ‘The Economic Crisis and Directions for Change’ Yale Club of Washington D.C., Oct. 2010.
  • ‘The Tsunami Tragedy: An Educational Forum’, Asian Studies Program and the Program on Science, Technology and Culture, School for Foreign Service, Georgetown University, January 2005
  • Forum on Sri Lanka Peace Process, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, April 2004
  • Roundtable on Sri Lanka Peace Process and film screening and discussion of Eppawala video documentary, Annual South Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, October 2003
  • Book Launch and Reception, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 2001.
  • Post 9/11 Symposium on “Globalization and Fundamentalism: Transforming Crisis,” Mount Holyoke College, November 2001.


  • Embrace the Earth Conference, California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, May 2016
  • Sakyadhita International Buddhist Women’s Conference, Jojakarta, Indonesia, May 2015
  • Conference on Proselytism and Development, Berkeley Center, Georgetown University, March 2015
  • Participant in Panel on ‘Gender, War and Peace’ Committee on Women and Society, Congress of the International Sociological Association, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010.
  • Moderator, Panel on ‘Reducing the Impact of Natural Disasters on Systemic Poverty,’ Conference on Impact of Natural Disasters on Impoverished Communities, Georgetown University Law School, March 2007
  • Participant, International Interfaith Dialogue with H.M. Prince Charles, Event sponsored by Georgetown University President’s Office, Spring 2006
  • Participant, Faculty Seminar on Religion and International Development, Mortara Center for International Studies and Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University, 2005-2006
  • Member, Georgetown Interfaith Dialogue Working Group, Sponsored by the Office of the University President, 2004-2006
  • Moderator, Symposium on Tsunami Tragedy Sponsored by Women In International Security, Peace and Security Studies Program, Georgetown University at The Brookings Institution, March 2005
  • Organizer and Moderator, The Tsunami Tragedy: An Educational Forum, Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and the Program on Science, Technology and Culture, SFS, Georgetown University, January 2005 (Forum Report published by Georgetown Center for the Study of International Migration)
  • Discussant, Session on Sri Lanka: Reporting From the Frontlines, School for Advanced International Studies, John’s Hopkins University, September 2003.
  • Commentator, “Sri Lanka: Living with Terror,” Frontline/World, Film Screening, The Asia Society and Pew International Journalism Program, Johns Hopkins University, May 2003.
  • External Reviewer, Women’s Studies Program, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, May 2002
  • Participant, Sri Lankan Multicultural Dialogue on the Search for Peace in Sri Lanka, American Friends Service Committee, New York, 1993-1994.
  • Facilitator, Session on “The Creation of a Feminist Global Agenda,” Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference, University of Southern Florida, Tampa, Florida, March 1992.
  • Representative of the Woman Earth Feminist Peace Institute at the Conference on Disarmament and Development, United Nations, NY, August 1987.
  • Discussant, Session on Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, November 1986.
  • Respondent at Session on “Women and Development: A Global Perspective,” Institute of Politics, Harvard University, October 1980.

§Spring 2017 Visiting Lecturer, Asian and Environmental Studies, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO                                                     Course: Buddhism, Society and Ecology